The Blog of Kate Headley
Category: Behind the Scenes  |  View all recent posts


Thursday, December 31, 2015

best of 2015 from Kate Headley on Vimeo.

2015 was such an amazing year for me as a photographer. Thank you to my clients, colleagues, friends and family for making it the best yet. Bring on 2016!

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gratitude & appreciation

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I wanted to share just a few of the little notes of appreciation I received in 2014 and say how much just a few words like these mean to me. (Like the text above after a very rainy wedding day!) I keep a scrapbook of all these notes, photo cards and my tear-sheets together. I pour my heart into every wedding and love making my clients this happy. And I feel so grateful for my clients who allow me to do this amazing job that I love so much. Looking forward to another amazing year in 2015!

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Finding Vivian Maier & the Rolleiflex camera

Monday, April 28, 2014
Last night I saw the movie Finding Vivian Maier. Maier was a shy, undiscovered photographer whose negatives were purchased at an auction after her death. By day, she was a nanny and loved to shoot the world around her. The purchaser of her negatives innocently created a blog with her photographs and people began to fall in love with her work. With gallery exhibitions and several books, some say she has become one of the greatest street photographers of the last century. The documentary is about the search to find out who she was and what drove her to amass a collection 100,000 negatives. The film is told through the finder of the negatives, the people Vivian babysat for and her photographs (makes you wonder if your belongings + your acquaintances told your life story, what would they say?)

Vivian used a Rolleiflex, which is absolutely my favorite camera. I love the duality of the crispness and softness, delivered on a square format. The photographs really have a lot of soul. The film discussed her approach to shooting: getting close enough to strangers for amazing portraits, shooting odd things like garbage cans, the sense of humor she had in her photos and the grungy streets that gave her so many amazing subjects. Because the Rolleflex is not used at eye level, it allows you to be a bit more discreet when taking a photograph and she used this constantly to her advantage. I loved learning that Vivian took her camera abroad on travels, which I have done in the past. It's light, doesn't take batteries and is quiet while shooting.

One interesting discussion on this film was museum's reception of Vivian's work. They have not accepted her work into their collections. Vivian was extremely private, eccentric and did not do much with her photography in her lifetime. Because she did not edit her work (by edit I mean she did not select her own images to share) curators are less accepting of acquiring her images, chosen by someone else, despite her indisputable talent. If a photographer shoots and doesn't share, are they not a photographer? Interesting question.

Most of all, I felt so connected with someone who had the same passion as me: shooting on a Rolleiflex camera. In honor of the Rollei, here are a few favorites of mine posted below. The film is playing now at the E Street Cinema in Washington, DC and around the country. The film is uncovering the story behind a true artist and is a fascinating one!

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weddings on 35mm

Thursday, April 3, 2014

One of my favorite cameras is the 35mm. Yep, the little rolls of film we all used when we were kids. I still love the classic/timeless/emotionally driven results! For weddings, I love using black and white. Here's a few of my favorites and if you're inspired, pull one out and give it go. (I get my film developed at Fast Foto and Digital.)

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collecting memories

Thursday, February 20, 2014

a slideshow of my great grandmother's life from Kate Headley on Vimeo.

Recently my great-grandmother passed away -- she was almost 96 years old! In her lifetime, she really saw the modern world come to be. I created this short slideshow for my family and at the end, I added a little clip of her sharing a memory of riding horses. (I had recorded her for a project I worked on in college about growing up on a farm.) Bringing together voice, music and imagery really touched our emotions. If there is someone you know who has stories to share, it's fairly easy to gather an oral history and you should do it while you can! You can interview them using a digital voice recorder (easily found online starting for around $25 on Amazon.) I liked this guide to how to interview someone. I edited the audio with a free program called Audacity. Then I scanned in photographs on my little desktop scanner and finally, I made the slideshow in iMovie. It took just a few hours and was such a special presentation for remembering her.
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